Elk Meadows students portray role models in annual wax museum
Jun 24, 2019 11:36AM
By Julie Slama
Two fourth-graders, Skye Lorenc and Lucy Warner, portray Girl Scout founder Juliette Gordon Low and aviator Amelia Earhart at the recent Elk Meadows wax museum. (Julie Slama/City Journals)
By Julie Slama | [email protected]
It may not ever happen again. Two women who broke barriers for females standing next to other in the same place at the same time.
But that’s just what happened as Girl Scout founder Juliette Gordon Low stood next to aviator Amelia Earhart one spring day at Elk Meadows Elementary.
Well, actually, it was two fourth-graders, Skye Lorenc and Lucy Warner, portraying the heroines as part of the school’s wax museum that also featured Annie Oakley, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Stan Lee, JK Rowling, Jane Goodall, Chuck Yeager, Marie Curie, Lucille Ball and Steve Jobs among the 125 other famous folk who filled the multi-purpose room.
“We asked students to identify with someone who made a difference, so they could also see they could make a difference themselves,” fourth-grade teacher Jessica Brown said. “We want them to learn the facts about these individuals for them to become their role models.”
The tradition began 21 years ago when then Elk Meadows fourth-grade teacher Janet Crane introduced it. Since then, the tradition has grown.
Current fourth-grade teacher Angie Marsden said the students don’t just dress the part of their heroes and heroines but also had to read at least one book, research and complete a biographical report in addition to presenting an oral report.
Sometimes, students faced challenges in completing the assignments.
Fourth-grade student Jeff Schultz wanted to research JRR Tolkein.
“I like his books, but when I wanted to read about him, I couldn’t find a book that I could read in the time period,” he said. “Then, I thought of (World War II) Col. James Rudder, but I couldn’t find any book. It was my grandpa who told me I might like learning about Dwight Eisenhower, so I got a book from Bingham Creek Library. I liked learning about him so much, I read three books about the president and D-Day. I didn’t know he was a high school sports star before he became the 34th president.”
However, as much as Jeff was excited to share about Eisenhower, during the wax museum, students weren’t allowed to talk.
“They pose as if they are made of wax,” fourth-grade teacher Jill Muhlestein said. “They’ve already shared what they’ve learned with their classmates and were excited to learn about each other’s role models. However, at the wax museum, the tri-fold posters and costumes are what brings them to life.”
Colleen Nabaum came to see her granddaughter, Hannah, who portrayed Helen Keller.
“Hannah’s always been fascinated by Helen Keller, so this project really inspired Hannah to learn more,” Nabaum said. “She learned that Helen was quite a bit like herself as they both have strong-willed personalities and like to learn.”
Nabaum was joined by Brian Prendergast, Hannah’s uncle.
“It’s amazing and fun to see all the kids with who they are and aspired to learn about,” he said.
Principal Aaron Ichumura agrees.
“It’s great to see the students learn about historic to pop culture figures and the accomplishments these people have had and how they impact these students’ lives,” he said. “I hope it helps them set goals for themselves and inspires them to do great things in their own lives.”